Jeremy Albucher, 28, of Los Feliz cools off after playing in a pickup basketball game at North Hollywood Park on Thursday. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

The most severe heat wave so far this year is bearing down in Southern California, with temperatures likely to top 120 degrees...

So how hot will it get?

Temperatures in downtown Los Angeles are expected to climb from the mid-80s Saturday to the mid-90s by Sunday, while triple-digit temperatures are on tap for the valleys. 

But it’s Monday, the first day of summer, that is expected to be the hottest. The looming heat has prompted the National Weather Service to issue excessive-heat watches for L.A., the valleys and mountains Monday.

“It will be very hot,” said Joe Sirard, a meteorologist with the service. “People should limit their time outside during the day.”

Here are some predicted high temperatures Monday from the National Weather Service:

Palm Springs: 121

Los Angeles: 100

San Bernardino: 110

Santa Ana: 98

Palmdale: 106

What are the health and safety concerns?

Dangerous, heat-related illnesses such as heat stroke are possible, the weather service said, especially among those who plan on spending Monday outdoors or people without access to air conditioning.

Forecasters warned against leaving people or pets in enclosed vehicles — even for a short period of time.

Power outages are possible as well, the weather service said.

Other agencies have also issued warnings against the heat. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommended frequent breaks in shaded or air conditioned areas. 

The Los Angeles County Public Health Department said it plans to issue a heat alert Sunday through Tuesday, when temperatures are expected to start to decline.

Why is that happening?

The blistering heat is the result of an upper-level ridge of high pressure that is building slowly over Southern California. Sirard said the system should start to weaken by Tuesday and temperatures should start to drop.

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source: http://www.latimes.com/

original story HERE

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